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Thirty-Third Sunday in Ordinary Time

November 14, 2019

November 17, 2019


Malachi 3:19-20a

Psalm 98

Second Letter of Saint Paul to the Thessalonians 3:7-12

           Luke 21:5-19          

Sisters and brothers, today’s Gospel is a clear example of some things, especially things in and of the world, may not always be what they might be.  The disciples saw Herod’s temple, adorned with majestic articles but they could not see the spiritual isolation behind the façade.  They could not see that the temple hid hypocrisy, oppression and, most of all, the rejection of Jesus Christ.

Our Lord warned His followers about false teachers as He knew the untold secrets hidden by the “splendor” of the temple.  Jesus also knew that external appearances and smooth talking teachers can be deceiving.  We are challenged to discern in our daily lives the true and often underlying meaning of many teachers of true faith.  St. Ignatius tells us to focus on both our emotions and intellect to detect and listen to the movement of the Holy Spirit within us as a key tool in seeing what may be behind a potential false prophet.

Of course not all false prophets are religious.  Much of the “noise” of information we are exposed to on a regular basis includes things that are not as they may seem at first glance.  Especially the TV ads offering remarkable products that are sure to change your life and it will only cost you $19.99.  But wait, if you order now you will get a second item for free – just pay separate shipping and handling.  Sound familiar?  Here, and in other decisions we make in our lives, we must always practice active discernment as a habit especially in our spiritual life.

We who serve Christ in the world of today will inevitably face resistance, recrimination for our faith and even persecution.  We however are promised hope, strength and support from God.  All we have to do is trust in Him.  The Holy Spirit will carry us with God’s thoughts and Words when on our own wisdom and effort we would be woefully lacking.

We all have moments of misery and insecurity and these voids in us cannot be filled with the trappings of the world such as money, success or worldly goods.   Just like the temple exterior that hid the lacking interior, our external veneer may not reflect our true interior intent.  It is only through faith and an open relationship with Jesus can we find meaning and purpose, even when we are in painful or uncomfortable encounters.  We must become aware of the comfort that God can give us by helping us turn negatives into positives, tragedies into triumphs, and heartaches into moments of grace.   

Question of the Day:  Are you able to be guided by the Holy Spirit of God in order to avoid false prophets?

Prayer:  Lord Jesus, pour Your love into my heart.  Make me ready and willing to give myself to others as You have given Yourself for me.


Deacon Anthony J. Cincotta

Assistant Director for Retreat Ministry

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